First in Series #Free in February: Fall in Love with a New Series

Explore three different takes on paranormal mystery: esoteric, comic, and psychic.

Under the Stone Paw

 Book one in the Power Places Series

A forgotten family legacy. Six crystal keys. One shot at unlocking the secrets beneath the Sphinx. 

Anne Le Clair, a successful, young attorney, has always managed to remain free from her family’s gothic past—until now. When she inherits her eccentric aunt’s antique necklace though, she finds no escape from its secrets. Anne is immersed in a crash course of forbidden wisdom, secret societies, and her family’s own legacy. She soon discovers that her aunt’s necklace is one of just six powerful “keys” that, when combined with the other five at the appointed time, unlocks the legendary Hall of Records. However, another group, the shadowy Illuminati, is working behind the scenes to uncover the same powerful secrets—and make them their own.

Katherine Kurtz, author of the Adept series, says “ . . . one of the best esoteric novels of the past decade.  Crater knows her way around Egypt and its mysteries.  Evil Illuminati, ancient artifacts, and conspiracies abound. Surpasses the Da Vinci Code.”

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                                       Blasted Bloomers

Prequel to the Loon Lake Magic Series

Tonya is shocked when the hunk of her daydreams asks her out. He must be toying with her, or is he? To make sure he likes her, Tonya snitches magic panties from the notorious Witch of Loon Lake. Will her risky plan end in triumph or disaster? Read this free urban fantasy book to find out. Expect a little bit of mystery, a touch of romance, and hair-raising suspense in this comic tale of Loon Lake magic.

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The Calling*

 The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions— access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

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Bonus: If you click on this link to sign up for my newsletter, you can also get the series prequel free.

 The Outlaw Women

Folk healer and seer Rhoda-Sue Outlaw Jackson knows her time on earth is running out when she hears the voice of her late husband telling her she has only but so many heartbeats left. She’s had a troubled relationship with her daughter, and has little hope of passing on her extraordinary gifts, either to this difficult daughter or to her granddaughter. With the final hour around the corner, she brings her family together for one more try. Can she leave the world at peace with them, as well as with her legacy?

This prequel to the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series introduces Mae at age ten, as seen through the eyes of her grandmother.

*Free  promotion  for The Calling ends Feb. 25

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Reading up a Sweat Again: the #eBook #Workout Number Two

Have you finished those free download e-books yet? Why not? Too many? No time? Or maybe you’ve gotten bored with the last e-book workout and you need a new one. I like variety and have several options for each major muscle group that can be done while reading at home in my living room. No more excuses to get behind on either your reading or your exercise!

Equipment: E-reader, exercise tubing, stability ball, tables of varying heights for reading in different positions. Exercise mat if floor is not carpeted.

The same guidelines apply as in the last workout, and I’ll repeat them here for those who have forgotten or who missed that post.

If you have an e-reader on your laptop, it will stand up by itself and be easier to look at during standing exercises, but overall a small e-reader or tablet will work best and be more comfortable to handle for some of the walking or lying-down work. Enlarge the fonts before starting your workout. For best results, plan to do this workout on alternate days three times a week. If you’re not sure how to do something correctly, err on the side of safety and caution. It’s hard to read if you’re on painkillers.

A reminder on good form: One rep of an exercise should take four to six seconds. The slower you go the harder you’ll work, and you’ll also read more since the workout will take longer. Rather than count reps—since you are focusing on a book— work to what’s called “voluntary fatigue.” If you feel as though you could go on forever, either it’s a really good book or the resistance is too light.

You sometimes may have to take a tiny break in the middle of a set to turn a page. It’s okay. You’ll be able to do an extra rep because of it.

 Warm-up: Straight-line walking lunges. Make sure the space is clear and then slowly walk, dipping one knee to touch behind the heel of the other foot, bending both knees to around a ninety-degree angle. (You will get really good at flexing your joints to ninety-degree angles in this workout.) You will have to change directions a few times to get a good long set in. Yes, you can read while you do this. You’re going slowly. You’re in your own home. You cleared the space first.

Pushups on ball: Put the e-reader in the floor and the ball under your feet, ankles, knees or thighs, depending on your core and upper body strength. The further the ball is from the working muscles—chest and arms and core—the harder this will be. The ball under the shoelace part of your foot will be the hardest position. Keep your spine neutral and your head in line with your spine as you execute pushups to failure. Don’t fall on your e-book. Stop one rep short of that.

Seated rows: Sit on the floor. Wrap the middle of one of the heavier pieces of resistance tubing around your feet or around the leg of piece of furniture that won’t move, making sure you have equal lengths on both sides, essentially a rope for each arm to pull. If you have tight hamstrings you may need to sit on a cushion or a folded towel to avoid slouching. These two rowing moves should be done with super-perfect posture to avoid lower back strain and to fully engage the upper and mid-back muscles. Prop the e-reader up in front of you. (I put it against the leg of the coffee table and have the tubing around my feet.) Sitting in an L position, pull with bent elbows. For the first set, draw your hands toward your hips with your elbows tucked close to your sides. For the second set lift the elbows and squeeze the shoulder blades together as you pull back.

Lateral raises: Place the e-reader on a higher surface, like a bookshelf or a counter. Tip it up for better reading. Stand in the middle of a length of the lighter-weight tubing and grasp the handles palms down. With your elbows flexed at a 90 degree angle lift the whole arm in one flat piece, without twisting the hands higher or lower than the elbows.

Biceps curls are done in the same reading position, e- reader on the higher surface, though you may need to change to heavier tubing. With elbows tucked and shoulders stable, lift your hands toward your shoulders without any motion in the shoulder joint or the spine, only the elbow joint.

Overhead triceps extensions. With the e-reader still in the same place, stand about one third to one fourth of the way from the end of a length of tubing and hold the long part overhead, with the tubing running up your back. Make sure you’ve got it under your heel, so it doesn’t slide through your arch and snap you. With your elbow aimed toward the celling bend it and drop your hand toward your shoulder blades, then straighten without moving the upper arm—it stays vertical— and pull the tubing taut. Change arms.

Quads: E-reader on the floor in front of you. Elbows on the floor, one ankle on the ball, other leg floating free and straight, lift to a plank position and roll the ball slowly in and out without losing your neutral spine. You are bending and straightening your knee to roll the ball. This is very, very hard and will kill your quads so fast you won’t read much on this exercise. It also works your core. Lie on the floor and read for a moment to recover. Change legs.

Glutes: Place your head and neck and just the very upper part of your upper back on the ball. Keep the fingertips of one hand touching the floor for balance while the other hand holds the e-reader. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and keep your spine neutral. Lift one leg. For maximum resistance keep it straight out; for less, place the lifted leg’s ankle on the working leg’s thigh. Now, start the exercise. Lower your butt, almost touching the floor, without rolling the ball and lift back up very slowly. If you can’t get eight reps with one leg, practice with two legs, both feet on the floor, until you can do it one-legged.

Hamstrings: Lie face down with the ball sitting on the backs of your thighs, e-reader on the floor in front of you. Prop up a short way on your elbows so you can read. If you have a small bottom and the ball might roll over it, use one hand to keep the ball in place as you squeeze your heels into the ball, pressing your pelvis into the floor and slightly lifting your knees. The ball will be jammed between your heels and your buttocks. Keep knees and heels and hips in one line, all joints in same plane. It goes like this in four steps: heels dig into ball and stay; pelvis presses down into floor while knees lift an inch; hold the squeeze; release. Your hamstrings will be surprised at how intense this is for such a small movement.

Inner thigh: lie on your back with the ball between your knees, e-book in one hand, other hand keeping the ball from shooting forward into your face, legs lifted, 90-degree angle at the hip joints, knees straight if hamstrings permit, bent if they don’t. Squeeze the ball slowly for a full set, followed by a set with internal rotation, rolling the knees on toward each other. Do not lift your hips.

Outer thigh. Reading is going to be really easy on this one. Stand with looped tubing around your ankles, so it feels tight with the feet slightly more than hip-joint width apart. You can get loops, or make one by tying a knot.(I have some loops that have ankle attachments with Velcro. You just strap them on.) Take four sideways steps right, toes facing front, and four left. Four sets. Then, toes still facing front, waddle forward eight steps and backward eight steps with the tubing at maximum stretch. Four sets if your hips can stand it.

Calf raises. E-reader in one hand, other hand on wall, balance on one foot and slowly rise to maximum height on the ball of your foot and lower slowly. Changes sides.

Shins: Sit with ball on shins, e-reader in one hand other holding ball. Keep knees and spine straight and dorsiflex your feet without letting the ball move. In plain English, pull toes back toward body, pressing the tops of your feet into ball. You will feel core stabilization work on this as well as shins, if you keep your posture.

You’ve done a lot of core work in stabilization by now, but your still need to do rotation:

Lie on your back, arms at shoulder height, one elbow flexed to hold e-reader, the other flat on the floor. Keep both shoulders on the floor. Shift your hips off center to the left, bend your legs at the hip joint and knee joint both at 90 degrees, and slowly roll to the side of your right hip without letting legs touch the floor. Keep your knees in line with your lower belly and hold a true neutral spine—don’t crunch. Untwist even more slowly—that’s the best part. Repeat to failure. To do other side, shift the hips off-center to the right and then with legs in the same position roll to the side of the left hip.

Back : Lie prone with e-reader in front of you. Lift your shoulders, then both legs, and then both arms reaching to the back at first. Carry the arms to the side, then to the front and hold. You’re up the whole time, adding resistance with each part of the move. Rest between, but not for long. You can’t read while your rest on this one.

Stretch every muscle you worked, holding each stretch for fifteen to thirty seconds. Reward yourself with a new e-book. Explore https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com and browse by genre for authors whose work is available on Nook, Kobo, Apple, etc. with direct links for each book.

If you’re not sure how to do an exercise or need some new ideas:

http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/

 ***

 Amber Foxx is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, a professor of Health and Exercise Science, and the author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery series. An avid reader, Amber really does e-book workouts. You can find her books on the mystery page and her free short story on the short story singles and series prequels page. The blog Indies Who Publish Everywhere started as her personal Nook book shopping list.

https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-mystery

https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/short-story-singles-and-collections

Everywhere #Bargains #99cents and #free #e-books

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Everything listed on this site is a bargain, of course, indie prices being what they are, but these are a few of the super-bargains.

 99 cents:

Chains of Prophecy by Jason Crawford

Sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-urban-fantasy

Reprobate by Martyn v. Halm

Sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/suspense-and-thriller

Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey

sales links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-science-fiction/

  Free:

The Outlaw Women by Amber Foxx

Fundamental Error by Martyn v. Halm

both can be found on: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/short-story-singles-and-collections

and one of the books I just reviewed, Lost Cause by J.L. Simpson

download links: https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-mystery

Two Reviews: The Daisy Dunlop Mysteries

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Lost Cause (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #1)

This is the kind of book you could read nonstop. Witty, naughty, fast-paced, well-plotted. Think of an R-rated British I Love Lucy with a whole tangle of mysteries—a missing heir, insurance fraud, a man with a secret, and murder—and you’ll get a sense of what you’re in for. Daisy is a colorful character. She’s smart, attractive, accident prone, inquisitive, and happily married to a man who wants to keep her out of trouble, though the job he finds for her does nothing of the sort. It was refreshing to read a book where the passionate romance is between husband and wife, parents of a teenager. The twists and turns of this story surprised me constantly. The contrast, conflict and repartee between Daisy and her employer Solomon kept me entertained. This is the only book I’ve ever read where a shot was fired that made me laugh out loud. It was a perfect punch line for the whole plot. When you get to it, you’ll know what I mean. I think this is the shortest review I’ve ever written, but with a plot like this, it’s hard to say more without spoilers. I’m hooked on Daisy Dunlop and look forward to keeping up with the series.

Lost and Found (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #2)

Would the sexual prowess of a poodle really incite someone to murder …?

This line from the blurb made me laugh. Many events in the book made me laugh, too—especially the method by which Daisy enacts a heroic rescue near the end. I still laugh thinking about it.

The humor is natural and authentic, coming from characters, relationships and situations, and is funnier for being so genuine. While this is essentially a comic mystery, the murders are handled with realistic seriousness and there are moments of human connection and caring that are true to life rather than risible. When there’s sex, though, it can be hilarious. Daisy and Paul’s marital romance continues to be one of the delights of the series, along with Daisy’s conflicted working relationship with her husband’s best friend Solomon.

The author is incredibly creative. The plot is full of unexpected events and original, colorful characters from beginning to end. And as for the poodles? Read the book to find out.

Buy links (and other great books)https://everywhereindies.wordpress.com/books-by-genre-mystery/

Lost Cause is currently FREE and Lost and Found only $2.99.

I’m Reading a Twenty-Six-Dollar Hardcover …

… and my thumbs are tired. They are out shape for reading heavy books in bed. I find that funny—I’m such a fitness fanatic, I think every muscle in my body is shape, but apparently not. I used to read a lot more hardcovers, and not exclusively from the library. I used to buy them without a second thought. Those days are gone. This book belongs to a friend in my book club. Is she a member of an endangered species—the full-price book buyer? According the data I looked up, she’s not, but I’ve gotten frugal since I got my Nook, and even more so since I discovered indie fiction. What do I call frugal? To me, anything priced at $4.99 and under is a bargain. It’s less than the cost of eating out, and the enjoyment lasts much longer. My book club members say they’re accustomed to paying $7.99 and up for e-books, and they think that price is a bargain. We read an indie book once as our selection for the month—they don’t normally buy indie—and the price tag blew them away. An e-book for $2.99?

To some people, though, that’s expensive. A fellow writer recently confided that she seldom pays full price for a book anymore, but looks for e-books that are on sale. She hasn’t gotten as frugal as some people, though, who won’t pay for books at all—and I don’t mean they borrow them from their local library (which I somehow don’t think of as free since the library bought the books and the community supports the library). They claim they only read free downloads.

My friend who occasionally buys hardcovers isn’t rich, and the one who primarily buys discounted e-books isn’t poor. Some of the free-only readers are on tight budgets, and some aren’t. I won’t make generalizations or draw conclusions about why some people are changing their perspective on the “right” price for books or where the trend is going, but if you’re curious, here’s plenty of data on the subject.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/64170-e-books-remain-third.html

http://authorearnings.com/reports/

http://authorearnings.com/report/the-bn-report/

The Publisher’s Weekly article looks at sales. The Author Earnings reports look at earnings. (I selected the Barnes and Noble report for attention along with the whole report page since this blog is dedicated to indies who publish everywhere.) What are your thoughts and book-buying habits? My thumbs salute you if you’re still reading a lot of hardcovers.